INTERVIEW: T.G. Sheppard "Partners In Rhyme"

TG Sheppard was only 15 when he made the journey to Memphis to begin his career. At age 66, his job repertoire within the industry is as diverse as his musical successes and his refined country sound is a sophisticated marriage of pop and blues with just the right amount of country heart and soul. To date he has twenty ?? number one hits and during one streak in the eighties, he had fifteen consecutive songs in the top ten. I had an opportunity to visit with this country legend about his experiences on his journey and what he is looking forward to next.

Bev: This is such an honor for me to have this opportunity, you have been an icon in this industry and inspiration to so many. Do you remember what it was like to be 15 and what your dream was then and how has it changed over course of time?

T.G. My dream is the same now as it was then. I wanted to make great music that would change people’s lives, and I continue to strive for that. You may gain a certain amount of success in your career but success is not why I did this. I wanted to make great music and hopefully someday leave behind great music that continues to affect people and their lives in years to come.

Bev: You have a new project out, I know it is a two CD set of duets called "Partners In Rhyme" and includes a special behinds the scenes DVD called "The Magic Beind The Music" with some of the music industries greatest artists. Can you tell me more about it?

T.G. Basically I have not done an album since 2004 or 2005 and I did not want to simply do another album. This is my 56th album, and I wanted it to be something special. I wanted it to be different than all the other albums so I chose icons in the industry like Willie Nelson, Ricky Skaggs, Crystal Gayle, Jerry Lee Lewis, George Jones, Conway Twitty, Lorrie Morgan … you know I have over 20 legends on this CD who all have special sounds on their own. I wanted to also do a back side of how songs are made documentary style on how a record is made. We were able to capture a lot of emotions while we made this from laughter and tears to some very heartfelt moments that the fans will find very special. I am proud to share this with them. This was a labor of love for me.

Bev: What is the one thing about this project you want to say about it?

T.G. I want everyone to know that this is truly a project from the heart. You will find laughter, tears and the DVD “The Magic Behind The Music” is an emotional rollercoaster for 90 minutes of a love story between artists, my wife and the people involved in this project. We captured magic in the studio when we did this. There is a website where everyone can go to listen to a piece of this at

Bev: Do you have a favorite album out of them all you have done over the span of your career?

T.G. (laughing) any artist will always tell you the most current project is their favorite and I think it is because it is fresh. This one is very special to me because it allowed me to include my friends and some very special artist who I wanted to work with for some time. I strengthened friendships and made new ones.

Bev: You are a part of the Grand Ole Opry Caribbean Classic Country Cruise February with Mel Tillis, John Conlee and Jeannie Seely and Mandy Barnett. Have you done one of these before? Any good stories from this kind of show where you are isolated so to speak and surrounded by fans?

T.G. I have been on many cruises, but not this kind of cruise. I am so proud to associate myself with the Opry. It depends on the fans, there is no place to run. I have found that fans are as nice to you as you are to them, and if you try and be inaccessible they will try and prove you wrong. I enjoy interacting with my fans.

Bev: You were the recipient of a television reality show called, Give a Living Rose. Can you elaborate on this?

T.G. Anytime you are surprised and a recipient of a gift it always means more, because it was not expected. My wife had surprised me with a watch and a rose on stage to show me how much it meant to her for all of my love and support during her battle with cancer. But, gosh you do not have to be honored for that. I have always treasured her and been honored to be with her, so I cannot imagine not supporting her when she was going through this. All of this made us stronger in so many ways, it strengthened our love for each other, and God and we prioritized our purpose in life.

Bev: I hear a rumor of a new TV show in the works, can you talk about that?

T.G. I shot a pilot for a new show that I hope will come out in 2009. I want to do a show that will provide as a vehicle for talent to be in the public eye and on television, similar to the days of TNN. I want to provide a pathway for both the new and older artists to reach the public. I want the existing artist to know they still count and we need to show that respect no matter the genre.

Bev: I know your involvement with charity work is a crucial part of your career. You do work with charitable organizations such as Cerebral Palsy, St. Jude Children's Hospital, The Alzheimer's Association, The United Way, and Child Help USA. Is there one that particularly is close to you?

T.G. There are two. Child Help USA is one I am on the board with that builds safe houses and shelters for parents and children who have been battered, beaten and abused. We provide a private place they can hide. The other is St. Jude Children’s research Hospital in Memphis which is a magnificent resource for families who need medical help.

Bev: What is your most cherished memory of working with one of the charities?

T.G. When I was a child, I stood on the ground and watched as Danny Thomas put the shovel in the dirt and broke ground for St Jude’s. I knew that was special and I knew God put me there for a purpose. I have felt a calling to help that charity ever since. I believe it is about giving back to the less fortunate.

Bev: I read a quote you have posted online in reference to the past that said, "The lyrics were paid more attention to ...Today people are more into the sound; they want that driving, rollicking sound. The songs were more romantic…. Today's country, it's more about life. Back in the seventies and eighties it was more about the heart and relationships." How have you tried to incorporate the changes in your current project and can you describe some of the obstacles?

T.G. There is a happy medium. You have to find something that will fit the old with the new and marry the lyric with the sound of today. I perform from my heart and am true to myself and my music. The other thing is never forget who got you where you are, and that is radio. If the fans cannot hear you they cannot come out to see you and hear you and support you, so you have to take care of everyone who has continued to support your career.

Bev: You have seen a myriad of changes over the years, from how the industry works, to the physical delivery of the product from LP to 8 track and cassette to CD and DVD and now digital downloads, do you have any wisdom and personal thoughts on how the changes are affecting the artist?

T.G. The work now with the digital age is wonderful because your work is forevermore now. Albums deteriorated and some of the great songs have been lost to that. Also, because of the technology making an album or a CD is much more affordable than in the past. I think we are making the best music ever right now.

Bev: In all the years of performing, what has been one of your most cherished memories on stage?

T.G. I have to say playing for a President of the United States has to be one of those moments you never ever forget and I have had that opportunity a couple of times. I am very patriotic and love our country so to have the honor to play for the white house is an honor. The other most cherished memories come to me whenever I play the Grand Ole Opry because when you stand on that sacred circle where all of the legends have stood, there is a feeling like every soul and heart who has ever played there is right there with you.

Bev: You are not a member of the Grand Ole Opry yet, do you aspire to be one?

T.G. Ohhhh are you kidding me? It is a life long dream. It will come to you when it is meant to be and not something you ask for. I was so tickled this year to see Mel Tillis and Charlie Daniels finally become members and so very proud for them.

Bev: Have you done any tours to entertain the troops? Any scary moments? Any Touching stories that have stuck with you?

T.G. I have not done a lot of overseas tours, but I have found we tend to forget those who have previously served or those who are just up the road from us. I have done a lot of performances for them. One time I was in Minnesota doing a show, and I was backstage when someone came and got me who said there is a gentleman who wants to meet you who just returned from Iraq, so I told them to bring him back and when I looked up here he was rolling up to me in a wheelchair with no legs. He held up his hand to shake my hand and started to thank me for the country music that got him through his toughest moments and I looked at him and said to him “You took time to come back here and thank me? I am the one that owes so much and I thank YOU!” so that moment will always stick in my mind. It makes you realize how much these service men and women sacrifice.

Bev: What is the best advice you have been given by someone?

T.G. Elvis was a dear friend of mine and he told me once that you have to always remember where you come from so you will never forget where you want to go. I have never forgotten those words. We all are just people who are trying to get through the day and who want to spend our lives with our families. We just have different jobs and it does not mean we are any better than anyone else.

Bev: What advice would you offer to someone looking to get into the music business today?

T.G. Never give up. Your opinion always means as much as the person next to you. Remember that to get anywhere in this business you have to start with a fan, and usually that is a family member or neighbor or school teacher. Hopefully you build from there. If I can give any advice it is to always believe in yourself and if you are a good person who is true to yourself, you will be able to look over your shoulder and watch that fan base grow and your support grow and that is what it takes.

Bev: T.G., again this was such an honor to visit with you and I look forward to hearing more of your music and seeing you perform again. Thank you so much for this opportunity.

T.G. Thank you for your kindness and taking time for me. I want to wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving and may God bless you.

For more information on T.G. Sheppard check out his website at

INTERVIEW: Suzy Bogguss "Sweet Danger"

Suzy Bogguss is a name well recognized and well respected in the music industry. A woman who has forged a place for herself among country music legends with her graciousness, talented voice and charming personality. Suzy’s gift of writing lyrics that portray every day life has been one of her strongest talents and enduring to listeners. Suzy has another new project in the works and a new tour underway; we chatted about these as well as a look back at her life.

Bev: Suzy, it is such a pleasure for me to visit with you. You have accomplished so much and continue to inspire new artists with all you have done. When you look back at how you started, plugging yourself from town to town, working hard and singing in the small bars and clubs for tips and compare that to some of the reality shows that force individuals to jump in both feet first, do feel this is an advantage or disadvantage?

Suzy: I feel so badly for them. They really do not have a chance to find their own bearings and understand the whole business side of this crazy industry; that would be terrifying for me. I feel it is a disadvantage. I had many trials by fire really. I was out there making my own posters and booking my own shows, and was fortunate to gain a real understanding of how to handle so many different situations on my own. These artists are being pushed and pulled and immediately just put into the spotlight without a chance to grow into the responsibilities that go into it. Being thrown into the celebrity part has to be so difficult.

Bev: Let’s talk about your new project, SWEET DANGER. It is something different than your past work, a CD filled with jazz rhythms combined with your signature vocals.

Suzy: Really it is not all that different, although it has the New York influence, the core of the music is still me. I worked with Jason Miles on this and he helped to make it so spectacular.

Bev: What did you enjoy the most about making this CD?

Suzy: I titled the CD out of the scary part of trying something new. I am letting some of my intuitions guide me on this project. But it was so exciting to be working with new players and a new philosophy. I absolutely enjoyed every moment of making each song on this album.

Bev: What has been the one question asked most from your fans after hearing the new music?

Suzy: A lot said they had to hear it several times before they got into it. It does not present itself as a power piece right in your face, this is a subtle sound and has a groove that that puts you into a mood. There is no drama in this project. Eventually they did get into it, but they needed to listen a couple times to let it sink in.

Bev: This project brought together musicians from New York and Nashville, how did that come about?

Suzy: I did a guest spot on an Elvis Presley kids album almost 13 years ago, it was shortly after my son was born, and the producer that did the Elvis project Jason Miles, the same person who co-produced this project. At the time he had thought of me as coming from a whole different world being a country artist and I guess I surprised him because we became very good friends after the Elvis thing and have stayed in touch over the years. He always came to my shows if I performed in New York. When I was promoting my last project, the swing album, he had come to the show and we all went to dinner afterwards and were discussing what was next on my list and it just popped out of my mouth that I wanted to work with him again. One thing led to another and we decided to try using people he knew and worked with from his Jazz world in New York. All of us were tentative in the beginning, but after we settled in and started to work on the project it was so natural and I really felt comfortable and happy with the end result. I am very proud of it.

Bev: You co-produced this project, what do you enjoy the most about the producing aspect of putting a project together?

Suzy: I love that part, but because of how music is made these days, I could literally take the music home and work on my background vocals on my home computer and email them back. It was a relaxed collaborative effort. I enjoy experimenting and this allows us to do it in such a comfortable atmosphere.

Bev: You are currently doing another tour besides promoting your new CD called “Wine, Women and Song” with Gretchen Peters, and Matraca Berg, how did you become a part of this and what do you enjoy the most in doing this kind of tour ?

Suzy: I have known these gals for many many years and written songs with them. Gretchen and I have performed in the UK before, but I have not been back as frequently as she has. We were working on a show in the US together and I had told her that next time she went to the UK to let me know, I would love to do another show with her there, which led to adding Matraca to have three part harmony. As we planned the show and would get together over a glass of wine, we decided to have fun with the show and show off more than just our songs, but also focus on our friendships. We came up with the idea to create a set that replicated a living room so the fans could be joining us as us girls who sat around and drank wine, shared our music and the stories in a casual atmosphere. We cut up and have fun and genuinely it is a great tour to be a part of, I really enjoy the spontaneity.

Bev: Hope For The Holidays is a fundraiser you are involved in with your niece, Rebecca Davis. Do you have any criteria when you are asked to participate in charity work or are you open to doing whatever you can for as many as you can?

Suzy: That is so funny you would ask that, because I just received an email from a gal who’s main thing she does is to hook up artists with philanthropic efforts. She is writing a book about her experiences and she sent me what she had written about me, and I had mentioned how in the old days when my time was so solidly spoken for all the time and I would be booked at a benefit and not really knowing that much about the cause and how horrible and awkward it felt to be promoting something you really knew so little about, it was as if you were a talking head and the dancing bear to get people to put their money towards this cause you were representing. Over the last few years, I have become much more selective on which charities I am involved with. If I am asked to send an auction item is one thing, but to put on a show is another. Now, I do the benefit because it really is a part of me and what I support and believe in. Being a part of charity is very rewarding.

Bev: You have been on countless collaboration projects; do you have any one special memory from any of these?

Suzy: They are my favorites, I love doing these and yes I have done so many. I did a track on the Buddy Holly tribute and I truly enjoyed that. I also co-produced that and it was a very special project, because on of the people we collaborated with was absolutely in awe at working on it and watching him light up and enjoy it from his heart made it more special for me.

Bev: You have had the opportunity to work with some of the industries biggest names in many different genres of music, who are some of your favorites?

Suzy: Chet Atkins is definitely one of my favorites. I had been friends with him a long time and it just hit me while we working on this that this was truly an amazing experience I was a part of. I would be sitting in the studio and it would hit me that THIS IS CHET ATKINS and I would get chills. I am so honored I got to work with him like that and it will always be one of the most special memories for me. Also, working with Ray Benson was another really cool project that holds a special place in my heart.

Bev: Do you have anyone you want to work with yet or who you have next on your list?

Suzy: I do, but I always wait until there is a moment or a sign that the timing is right. I do not just pick up the phone and make a cold call, I like it to be a natural flow and meant to be moment. I think a folk music tribute to my years growing up in the Midwest may be next, but I am just waiting for the moment.

Bev: Your son is your biggest critic and your husband also in the music industry; do you see your son aspiring to follow in his parents footsteps?

Suzy: At the moment he is not so critical, but if I say something trendy he will bust me on it. He loves a lot of the music I grew up on, so I have to be careful not to admit to knowing we like the same music. I really do not want to tell him which direction to go. He loves music, and he has had piano lessons and plays trumpet in the school band, but I am letting him find his own legs. I cannot see him staying away because we are in it; he has recently showed interest in taking guitar lessons, so we will see.

Bev: You have been nominated for and won some pretty prestigious awards for your work, which are you most proud of?

Suzy: A while back I may have said my CMA for co-producing one of the collaborative efforts I did, but I have realized that it is not so much the award. I appreciate being patted on the back for knowing how to achieve what I have done. I have recently realized how fortunate I am to live my life being able to do what I do. I have a Grammy, and it is cool to say I won a Grammy, but then again my Horizon Award is special .. so I do not have a favorite.

Bev: I know another of your talents is making jewelry; do you still do a lot of that?

Suzy: I have curbed that since my son was born. It is a very serious hobby and now I do more crafty things like beading. My mom always said I would be happier doing something with my hands like knitting and I just laugh, because I cannot see me knitting. But I do get satisfaction out of embellishing my costumes and creating jewelry with beads. There are so many great little shops that have the coolest beads and supplies, so in a way I still do the jewelry thing, but on a different level.

Bev: Do you have any goals you are still striving to reach or have you achieved what you set out to do and now you are just enjoying the fruits of your labors and seeing what opportunities come your way?

Suzy: I always have things I am working on. Usually there is massive project I have on the backburner for a couple years, and then there are smaller ones I know I can achieve in a smaller time frame. I look at is as reading several books at one time. There is the 1000 page hard to read book and several 200 page books I can pick up and finish very easily. To answer your question, I do have goals, but not single specific ones, I always have several things I am working on.

Bev: If you could offer one piece of advice to today’s new artists, what would it be?

Suzy: Be sure it is your life. Make sure you are happy doing what you are doing, because this life is not for everybody. People do not realize how hard it is not to be able to go to the mall, or have a boyfriend, and how often you are on the road. The other thing is to play an instrument or learn how, because you have more input and contribute even more to your career when you do.

Bev: Do you have any quotes you live by?

Suzy: I fly by the seat of my pants, so I do not know if there is a quote so much as the cliché’.

Bev: Suzy, I look forward to visiting with you again and have enjoyed this so much. Thank you so much for all the insight to your new projects and sharing so much about your career with me.

Suzy: Thank you too, I will definitely stay in touch and let you know what is next. I have enjoyed our visit very much.

For more information on Suzy Bogguss visit her online at , or


Autumn Boukadakis performance on her sophomore release gives the listener more than you would expect. Her rich vocals mixed with the personal touch of her songwriting keep you wanting more. Autumn has a gift of capturing the most interesting details of life and transforming them into great songs. I met with Autumn after her performance on the Billy Block’s Western Beat Show at Tootsies downtown Nashville and touched on her writing, her music and how this is all coming together for her.

Bev: Thank you so much for the opportunity to visit with you about your new CD “Velvet Sky”. This is your first time performing here, how does it feel?

Autumn: It is AMAZING. It is my first time performing in Nashville and it feels so different here. I love it. People appreciate the music, and there are tons of people out actually to listen, it is just great.

Bev: This is your second CD, how have you grown as an artist from the first one?

Autumn: The first CD was good, but I was still trying to find my sound. I have calmed down and the entire project is a whole piece of work as one and not chopped up into just a bunch of songs, they blend so much smoother and the flow is so much better.

Bev: You just returned from the UK where you debut’d the project, can you share some of the experience with me?

Autumn: Sam Baker is an awesome songwriter out of Austin TX and he has a big following in the UK. He already had this tour set up, and one night in Austin he asked me to come up on stage to play. I ended up being asked to join the tour and the rest is history.

Bev: Was there any one particular experience that stood out or a special memory from that trip?
Autumn: The best thing for me was not performing, but rather sitting and just watching the people and absorbing the culture. It was very inspirational to just relax and watch the activity around me.

Bev: Do you have a personal favorite on the CD?

Autumn: Yes, hands down the first song on the album, “Rain Down”, is my favorite. It is very personal and in all honesty it is very difficult for me to perform, so I do it first to get it out of the way. Walt Wilkins helped me with the production and made it a little more upbeat than how I originally wrote it and that helps.

Bev: I know you wrote seven of the songs on Velvet Sky, do you prefer to write your own songs?

Autumn: I do not really co-write very well, I tend to write from my heart and do not go after the commercial aspect. So yes, I enjoy writing my own material, however there are so many incredible and talented writers and I really am supportive of them, so if it is a well written song, I enjoy doing others work as well.

Bev: How did you manage to get so many talented and established artists like Danny Flowers, Fats Kaplin, Dave Jacques etc on your project?

Autumn: Walt Wilkins and Tim Lorsch can take all the credit for pulling together some of the absolute best musicians out there. I think they know everyone in the industry and we came to Nashville specifically to be able to be with them. I am so fortunate to have all this talent on my CD.

Bev: Do you feel more pressure after working with them and do you find yourself putting more pressure on yourself to raise the bar and excel to a higher level?

Autumn: Yes. Absolutely. I would sit there in awe of these musicians and now when play piano I try harder and harder to match them and I practice so much more to improve.

Bev: You were in radio before, have you always known this was the ultimate goal to be an artist yourself?

Autumn: I do not know if I ever saw myself as a song writer. I knew all my life I wanted to be in the music business. I went to UT and my major was in music and then I got into radio as an intern and loved it! They could not get rid of me. But, it came down to me playing music at night til 2 o’clock or 3 o’clock in the morning and then doing the morning radio show and getting no sleep and I just needed to make a choice.

Bev: When you are not on the road, what do you enjoy doing to unwind and relax?

Autumn: I do not relax. I do watch a lot of reality TV just to escape, but I do not ever really relax. My mind is constantly working. I do yoga and that helps, you should do it, it is great!

Bev: You are #16 on the AMA charts and moving up, can you describe the emotions you go through as you watch your project mature from the production stages into chart numbers and award considerations?

Autumn: I try to not look at them much. If I do, I will analyze them and let it get to me on what it is doing and the charts can be so confusing. I prefer to just let things happen. I would be thrilled to know I have a #1, but I am not going to sit and watch the song climb. I just get excited when I hear the reviews and talk to the people after they hear me play, to me that is what counts most.

Bev: How long did it take you to complete this CD?

Autumn: It took me three years to write, but once we came to Nashville to record it, it was about a five month process to complete.

Bev: If you could change any one thing in the music industry, what would you change?

Autumn: This is a great question. There are so many wonderful and talented musicians who are forced to quit because they do not have the support to keep going. If I could change anything it would be to allow more of the talent to shine through.

Bev: On a similar note, with all the reality shows out there that more or less throw an artist into the limelight, what are your feelings on that?

Autumn: There is a place for this, but I feel there is too much of it. It makes it look so easy to be famous. I care so much about music, good music and sometimes I do not think these artists take the music itself serious, they are just looking to be rich and famous.

Bev: Besides the music, do you have any other aspirations in the entertainment industry? Acting or producing?

Autumn: I only want to do music. I do not have any desire to anything else. I love to write and sing and perform.

Bev: How about music videos?

Autumn: I did a music video with my brother in LA. It was very cool to do that because he directed it and I got to learn so much about what is involved in the process. We are going to do a 2nd one for the album as well, so I am looking forward to it. It is an extension of performing.

Bev: What is the most commonly asked question when you are interviewed or by the fans when you meet them?

Autumn: (Laughing) People ask me how long I am going to do this. It seems like a strange question, but I get asked it often.

Bev: If you were given the opportunity to be on the stage performing with any one artist, who would you choose?

Autumn: Another hard question, there are so many people I meet that I would be honored to perform with, and I am sure my answer will change in time, but right now Rickie Lee Jones. She is eccentric at times and I love the old stuff she did.

Bev: What is the funniest gift a fan has given you so far?

Autumn: Well no funny gifts, but I did have someone who was moved to start break dancing right in front of me; and my music does not exactly lean towards that kind of dance. So that was a little strange for me.

Bev: Are you the kind of person who pays close attention to the lyrics in the song?

Autumn: Yes, and if I could encourage people to buy my CD and just listen. Sit down in a quiet room, light a candle and listen to every word, because it was truly written for a reason. I love to buy a CD and read the lyrics inside and then listen to the melody.

Bev: I have enjoyed meeting you and getting to know you and appreciate you letting me visit with you about the new project and your musical careers. I am sure we will be hearing more and more about you.

Autumn: Thank you so much and it has been great to get to know you too. I hope I can see you again soon.

For more information on Autumn online go to or

PRESS RELEASE: Adam Gregory Video "What It Takes"


Adam Gregory Finishes Video for New Single, "What It Takes"

(Nashville, TN - November 17, 2008) Big Machine/NSA/Midas Records' artist Adam Gregory recently completed work in Nashville on the video for his latest single, "What It Takes."

Award-winning director Roman White, known for his work with Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson and Reba McEntire, shot the video at various locations around town."Doing a video with a director like Roman White was an exciting experience," said Gregory. "His resume speaks for itself, so I just did what he said and trusted his direction. It went really smoothly and now I'm just anxious for everyone else to see it."The 23-year-old rising star made a series of appearances last week during CMA Awards Week. He was chosen by CMT Canada to post a daily web diary on of his activities during the week. He also spent time with Entertainment Tonight Canada, leading the crew on a tour of several of his favorite Nashville hot spots. He also managed two days of radio remotes (despite a power outage downtown the day of the Awards), headlined a show at The Tin Roof, and performed at Chevy's CMA Awards after-party. Most recently, he was featured on MSN as one of their "Hunks of Country."
Gregory's daily schedule continues to combine a lengthy radio tour with appearances tied to his recent partnership with Cricket Communications, Inc. In addition to radio visits, Gregory is making stops at Cricket stores in select cities, where he is meeting fans, signing autographs and playing new material from his forthcoming debut.
"What It Takes" is showing steady progress on the charts after being released to radio at the end of October. Gregory's first U.S. single, "Crazy Days," cracked the Top 40 earlier this summer. His debut album is due out in early 2009.
For more information, visit:

Pictured above L to R: Adam Gregory (Big Machine/NSA/Midas) and Roman White (Revolution Pictures Director)
Photo Credit: Justin Key
Pictured above: Adam Gregory (Big Machine/NSA/Midas)
Photo Credit: Bev Moser

INTERVIEW: Adam Gregory

Adam Gregory had his first record deal while discovered singing cover songs at age 13, had a #2 Hit in Canada and his first release in the USA charted at #5. With his 4th studio album and 1st US Debut Album to be out in early 2009, Adam has been crossing the country promoting his music and introducing himself to radio and the fans. Adam Gregory is down to earth, hard working and dedicated to his music. I took a few minutes to visit with Adam before a show at the Tin Roof in Nashville and ask him about his goals, dreams and what is important to him in his future.

Bev: You started your career in 2000 in Canada, how does the music industry differ between Canada and the US?

Adam: I have been here more or less for two years and when I go back now, it seems like I have missed so much because there are so many new artists’ I have not heard of. I am very comfortable and used to the industry here. I love my label Big Machine Records and I am keeping very busy. CMA week here is the biggest night in country music and I am so thankful to be a part of it this year. As an artist, I feel like I am about as big as I can get in Canada. We have the CCMA (Canadian Country Music Awards) and it is just a very small version of what we have here.

Bev: You have a new video coming out, do you enjoy making them? What do you dislike about them?

Adam: Ohhh yeah, I love making them. I was in a movie once a few years ago, so I have done acting. Singing is very natural to me, and a part of me always comes alive on stage that is similar to acting, a part of me that would not be there in day to day activities, so it is an extension of acting. I do not dislike anything about making the music videos. You never know what to expect, because sometimes they are a couple days long and by the end the crew is ready to be done, but all in all, I enjoy the process.

Bev: Do you feel the video enhances a project or does it limit or stereotype a song to the character or direction of the video?

Adam: It enhances it I think, because it definitely has an influence on how well a song is going to do. I have put out singles in Canada and they did okay, but those I did put out a video on, did much better. The exposure is so much better.

Bev: What was it like for you performing the first time on the Grand Ole Opry?

Adam: It is one thing just to walk around back stage and be in the environment and feel the hype and the energy, but then you walk on stage and stand on the circle and it is the most incredible feeling. All three times I have had the nervous butterfly feeling and it never ceases to amaze me. I think of all the people who have been there before me and are legends. To stand on the side of the stage and visit with someone like Jeanie Sealy who just celebrated her 40th anniversary with the Opry and Little Jimmy Dickens 60 years is amazing.

Bev: I know you have in the past done some work with the Ronald McDonald House, are you still active in this or other charities?

Adam: I have also done work with Make-A-Wish. One of my friends died of Lou Gering’s disease and it was part of her wish to meet me and I kind of prolonged her life on the phone and giving her some extra time to live as she looked forward to my calls. She was buried in a shirt I gave her and a teddy bear, so it means a lot to me to know I meant that much to another person. The Ronald McDonald house actually has a house named after me called Adam Helps. We have been doing this for 4 years now. I think it is very important to reach out and help other people.

Bev: You recently signed on with Cricket Communications, have there been any surprises on the road as you do in store promotions?

Adam: We are very thankful for all the support and people that show up, but no there have not been any surprises yet while doing the promotional stops for Cricket.

Bev: You have previously done some entertaining for our troops, what is it you enjoy the most about doing that kind of performing?

Adam: I went to Afghanistan for three weeks, my band and I were the musical entertainment and it was great. You can see the emotions on their faces because they do not get a lot of entertainment, you see them crying and I would talk to them after and hear the stories and their concern for my safety and how much it meant to them I would do that for them. It was a life changing event in my career and for my band.

Bev: Your 1st US release was done on I-tunes – what are your thoughts on the new digital age versus the traditional radio and album release?

Adam: I think it is the new era. I am only guessing, but in the next four or five years I feel CD’s will be more like cassettes are today. I think people will access it like they are now and be able to choose a song for ninety-nine cents or whatever versus buying the whole album. I think it will still be profitable for the labels but it will be a different way of getting the music to the people. I think it is a good change.

Bev: Do you have any one big goal you are striving for? Any certain award or selling of a specific number of Albums you want to sell or anything that you ultimately strive for?

Adam: I definitely would love to break some records, but my attitude is so far removed from thinking I am better than anyone. I am very thankful for the gift I have been given. I have had some disappointing times, but they have made me stronger and now I am here and doing what I love, getting to travel and have already seen almost all of the United States and seems like every radio station possible. I do not know what the future holds, but I know I will keep doing my best. I want this all to work and be totally successful.

Bev: What is the most embarrassing thing to happen to you on stage?

Adam: I have started to sing the wrong song. Sometimes we rehearse a show and then have to cut it back to fit time constraints, and in my head I have it down and I forget and walk out on stage and start singing the wrong song.

Bev: I know your hit “Crazy Days’ was collaboration with some of today’s big hit makers and you also write on your own, who is the one person you would want to write with if you could choose?

Adam: I would love to write with Vince Gill. I have been very fortunate to have Joe Leathers, Lee Brice and Kyle Jacobs on this first project, but to be able to work with Vince would be a dream come true for me.

Bev: How about a duet partner?

Adam: I love Trisha Yearwood, Carrie Underwood, Kelli Pickler; any of them would be great duet partners.

Bev: Who would you consider one of your idols either in the music business or otherwise?

Adam: Vince Gill.

Bev: Have you met him?

Adam: Yes.

Bev: Knowing how you feel having met your own idol, how does it make you feel to think you are or may someday be someone else’s?

Adam: It would be really cool to think someone thinks that much of me to call me an idol. I hope to achieve that status. I think for someone else to cover my songs would be the ultimate honor and for example to walk into a karaoke place and hear people singing my songs would just be great.

Bev: I know you have recorded a song written by Garth Brooks called “Sweet Memories” – how did that come about? Is there any pressure or added expectations when you record something that someone of his stature has penned?

Adam: I met Bob Doyle when I was first looking for managers and of course Garth was doing ok (Adam chuckles) and Bob did not need another act, but he said he had some songs he wanted to play for me and that one particular song stuck out and I asked him to send it to me. As far as pressure, you cannot think of who wrote it because you will freak yourself out. I was very grateful for the opportunity and it was a hit in Canada and became one of my most requested songs.

Bev: Your debut CD as an artist on a US label is coming out after the 1st of the year and you have already released two songs off of it and had videos for them which have both been praised and well received. Do you feel added pressure on you when the CD actually hits the shelves because of the hype surrounding the songs already released?

Adam: I think it would be more pressure to just release an album with no taste of what is on it and this way as an artist you have a fighting chance to compete with all the other artists who are also releasing their music.

Bev: I know you have a blog on your myspace, which is a common means of communication these days. Do you think by having this personal way of “speaking” to your fans, friends and the general public it enhances your exposure or do you have to be very careful with it not to let out too much information?

Adam: I think it is beneficial, of course there are boundaries, but I think it is important to share what it is like to be an artist and what my every day life is like. There are so many things I do and to be able to give a little piece of that to friends and fans so they can experience it with me is part of connecting with everyone. I am very careful how I say things.

Bev: What is the best “horror story” experience you have had in your career to date?

Adam: Well we just left one of our band members in Ocala, Florida. We took off very early in the morning and did not realize it until we were two hours down the road when he called and asked us “where is the bus?” Needless to say, we now have a check off system so we do not have that happen again. (laughing)

Bev: What to you want fans and the music industry to remember most about Adam Gregory?

Adam: I want to be known as a good person who left a legacy of good music and was nice to people and made people feel comfortable.

Bev: Adam, good luck tonight with your show and with all you have going on right now. Thank you as always for your time and invitation to visit with you.

Adam: Thanks Bev, always a pleasure to see you and you asked great questions! Appreciate you coming to see me.

For more information on Adam Gregory, visit or

ARTICLE: Jewel " A Kiss For Country"

Country Music Artist JEWEL, Mary Kay Cosmetics and the Country Music Association launched the second annual A KISS FOR COUNTRY CAMPAIGN to raise awareness for domestic violence on Tuesday November 11th at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.
Jewel was one of over 60 country music artists who have graciously donated a “kiss” using Mary Kay Apple Berry lipstick, added an autograph and personal message to special prints to be auctioned for charity at Jewel commented, “I thought this campaign was great for a lot of reasons. Country music has always been the most charitable of all the communities I’ve been around, and all the artists were very willing to participate—even the guys.” Donating their kisses were both men and women of country music, including Sara Evans, Wynonna and Naomi Judd, Kellie Pickler, Jennifer Hanson, Reba McIntyre, Taylor Swift, Lee Ann Rimes and Miranda Lambert along with male stars like John Rich, Emerson Drive, George Strait and Rodney Atkins
Jewel voiced her personal reason for participating. "I experienced firsthand the fear and vulnerability that a lot of women experience, especially in abusive relationships. ... Domestic violence is a preventable problem -- and it's fixable." The Kiss Cards are available for bidding through December 12th, and 100 percent of the proceeds go towards domestic violence and benefit the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation.

INTERVIEW: YARN "Empty Pockets"

Yarn is a combination of country soul knitted together with harmony filled songs delivered with a passion about life’s personal losses, outrages, and embarrassments. An Americana band born out of Brooklyn, blends songs of heartbreak and defiance with a positive and sunny outlook on life. Yarn is a big city band with a country heart. I visited with Blake Christiana, lead vocalist about the bands new found popularity.

Bev: Thank you so much for the opportunity to visit with you about your new CD “Empty Pockets This is your 2nd project correct? How does this differ from the debut?

Blake Christiana - Yarn: This is our 2nd release. Our first release was much more of an experiment compared to the 2nd, both are cohesive, but the second is a much more mature production and put together to make a project we are very proud of and is getting some attention. Empty Pockets is definitely a step up.

Bev: You recently won the IMA for Best Alternative Country Song of The Year (“No Future Together”) And where to you display it?

Yarn: Well we are on the road, so it is not on display yet, but we are so proud of it. We put the sticker on our CD’s to make people aware of it.

Bev: You are on the official ballot for several Grammy’s coming up in 2009, what are you feeling about that?

Blake Christiana - Yarn: Expectations, I am trying not to expect anything, but, I do have my fingers crossed in one category. Country Collaborations, which we did “I’M DOWN” with Edie Brickell, so if we can pull off a nomination for that category I would be thrilled. I am just excited to even make the initial ballot.

Bev: Blake, do you usually write most of the songs?

Blake Christiana - Yarn: I have written a very big percentage, and in some way I am involved in all of them, I co-write with Shane Spalding and we do a lot of writing together, in fact the song that won the IMA Award was co-written with Shane.

Bev: As with most artists, I am sure you feel a connection with your fans and audiences as you perform certain songs, which one gets you every time?

Blake Christiana - Yarn: Off the first project, “Cat and Mouse” we tend to end the show with it and it always has a great crowd reaction. We played a two and a half hour show the other night and the place was packed and when we played “No Future Together” the crowd sang back the chorus to us and we have never had that and it was awesome. To this point that was one of the coolest stage moments I have experienced.

Bev: Did any of you pursue music as a career in college or did you start as a club act and grow from there?

Blake Christiana - Yarn: In college I started with a business major and was failing miserably. I had some music credits and my college advisor is the one who suggested I go for a degree in music. I still did not know what I was doing even after I graduated and I went to work with the family business and eventually put together a club band in New York in mid-town.

Bev: When you are not on the road, what do you enjoy doing to unwind and relax?

Blake Christiana - Yarn: I have recently started doing pictures and taking photographs. I am trying to get that art form down. I really have been pouring everything into the music the last couple years, so I seem to never slow down much.

Bev: You are / were #15 on the AMA charts and moving up, can you describe the emotions you go through as you watch your project mature from the production stages into chart numbers and award considerations?

Blake Christiana - Yarn: It is very fun to watch and exciting to see it move forward with success. I wish I were more of an optimist and less of a pessimist sometimes. I am never satisfied so the excitement fades quickly for me. I push myself with each new step to make it to the next bigger and better step. Looking at the financial statement, we have a long way to go!!

Bev: How long did it take you to complete this CD?

Blake Christiana - Yarn: We took our time. We went about it in our own weird kind of way. We recorded a lot of songs not knowing what would make the album. It was then scaled back to fifteen songs. We are very happy with the songs selected.

Bev: I am sure this is not the first time you have been asked this, but, how did you arrive at the name Yarn?

Blake Christiana - Yarn: THAT is the #1 question. I always wanted a string band and the songs we sing are spinning tales and telling stories so the simplicity of yarn just worked.

Bev: You have been compared to artists such as Lyle Lovett, Ryan Adams, Randy Travis do you find that flattering to be compared to someone of stature, or do you think it gives people expectations when thy come to see you perform?

Blake Christiana - Yarn: I don’t mind being compared. They are all credible artists so I am flattered to be compared to them.

Bev: Your songs are filled with amazing instrumental sounds, from mandolin to fiddle to viola to dobro. What is the creative backbone like when you start recording a project like this?

Blake Christiana - Yarn: The core of the band is bass, drums, mandolin, guitar and vocals. I think about songs from the moment they are born and you imagine different sounds you think you want to implement, and as we try them sometimes it works and sometimes not, and as we work through them and take our time playing them live as we add sounds we know what works and what does not or what is missing.

Bev: If you could change any one thing in the music industry, what would you change?

Blake Christiana - Yarn: I would change the cultivation of careers and how it has fallen to the wayside. I know so many people in the music business trying to get that ONE hit instead of making a career of sustainable music. There are many talented people working desk jobs who were tossed aside because they could not come out with a hit for the label. I am here for the whole book and the story.

Bev: Besides the music, do you have any other aspirations in the entertainment industry? Acting or producing?

Blake Christiana - Yarn: I would love to produce. I have been active with the production of the last two projects so to have a band come to us and we can make a name for ourselves with that aspect as well, it would be great!

Bev: What is the most commonly asked question when you are interviewed or by the fans when you meet them?

Blake Christiana - Yarn: We always ask with a raised pitch in their voice like they are questioning us a second time .. “Where are you from”? They cannot believe a sound like ours comes out of New York.

Bev: If you were given the opportunity to be on the stage performing with any one artist, who would you choose? And a writer?

Blake Christiana - Yarn: Performing would be John Lennon, Jerry Garcia, or Johnny Cash.
Co-writing with Johnny Cash would be amazing.

Bev: What is the funniest gift a fan has given you so far?

Blake Christiana - Yarn: We get a lot food. We always get balls of yarn, knitted scarves, someone gave me cough syrup for my sore throat.

Bev: I have enjoyed meeting you and getting to know you and appreciate you letting me visit with you about the new project and your musical careers. I am sure we will be hearing more and more about you.

Blake Christiana - Yarn: Thank you so much, you had some great questions and it has been great to get to know you too. I hope we see you again soon.

For more information on Yarn you can check them out online at or

Jeff Griffith's First Music Fest Full Of Surprises

Nashville, TN. (Top40 Charts/ Arrowhead Records) - When Texas recording artist Jeff Griffith arrived in Nashville for his first CMA Music Festival, he never imagined how jam-packed the week would be - or how much fun he would have. 'It was amazing,' Griffith says. 'I loved every minute of it - from the booths to performing - it was incredible.'
Griffith certainly made the most out of his Music Festival debut, but admits to a moment of near-panic when he realized he'd missed his ride in the opening-day festivities parade. 'I was there,' says the sociable Texan. 'But I guess I was talkin' to someone and didn't hear 'em call my name. The driver just fell in line - without me!'
In the Mr. Coffee booth Jeff met a like-minded fan in six-year old Austin DeClue of Bonne Terre, Missouri. The two handsome, cowboy-hat wearin' gents shared a light-hearted moment. (Photo credit: Martha E. Moore)
Jeff drew a large crowd to the Ernest Tubb Record Shop for a live interview with and acoustic performance for WSM Radio's Keith Bilbrey. Jeff sang his current hit, 'Holed Up In Some Honky Tonk,' and shared a brand new composition, 'That's Why I Had To Say Goodbye,' with fans. (Photo Credit: Martha E. Moore)
On the Riverfront Stage, Jeff, along with compadre Joe Stampley, held sway over the crowd - and celebrated Joe's 65th birthday with the Moe & Joe classic, 'Good Ol' Boys,' and the title track from Griffith's debut CD, IF IT AIN'T ONE THING IT'S ANOTHER. (Photo Credit: Bev Moser)
In between his Festival activities, Jeff found his way to Hendersonville and the home of legendary songwriter Hank Cochran. 'He was so gracious,' Griffith says of Cochran. 'He's already pitched me some hits for my next album.'